One of things I have tried to do since starting this blog is provide something of a clearinghouse of scholarly views on the Gospel of Thomas. While I have other scholarly interests (the Fourth Gospel, the Gospel of Mark, narrative criticism, etc.), many of these are well-covered across the web and throughout the blogosphere. When I started this blog, I wanted to turn my attention to an area that did not have as much web coverage as some others in biblical and early Christian studies. Since I was in the process of researching and writing on the Gospel of Thomas, I thought it might be helpful to those looking for good information to have a place to go. Based upon my blog traffic, I was right that web surfers would return to a site that had a storehouse of information on the Gospel of Thomas. The interviews have proven to be the most visited posts on this blog.
Thus far I have conducted interviews with a good number of the most important figures working in contemporary Thomas research: Stephen J. Patterson, Nicholas Perrin, Stevan Davies, Risto Uro, Marvin Meyer, Ismo Dunderberg, to name a few. Over the next few months, both Simon Gathercole and Mark Goodacre have books coming out on the Gospel of Thomas. In the coming weeks will be interviewing each of them about their books and their views on important questions in Thomas research. Stay tuned. . . .
Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology is one of my favorite periodicals – some of the finest articles, ones I frequently re-read and cite, come from this journal. It was recently announced that, while the editorial leadership would not change, the 2012 issues would be published by SAGE. This brings some benefits to readers for a few reasons. First, I think (?) institutions will be able to get better online access. Also, the webpage is now clearer and easier to navigate. Thirdly, for authors, Sage does a really fantastic job copyediting.
This announcement coincides with the release of the first 2012 issue on “Liturgy and Pentecost/Trinity Sunday.” As always, a really excellent collection of articles, but easily attractive are ones by Beverly Gaventa and Jeremy Begbie. Also, Susan Eastman (Duke Divinity) and James Dunn offer some major book reviews. See here. Somehow the articles are coming up free for me (without me logging into my university account), so maybe they are doing a free promo, so check it out soon!
UPDATE: Some of my librarian friends tell me that Sage will sell a subscription to Interpretation for $198 versus the old rate of $48. This is really unfortunate and puts libraries in a very difficult situation, having to consider eliminating journal subscriptions – and it would be sad indeed to cancel Interpretation. I guess this is the serious downside to Sage’s take-over…
One of my favorite NT theologians, Steve Walton (London School of Theology), will be installed as Professor of New Testament (a senior and distinguished ranking in the UK) on March 6. This is great news! Also, he will be giving what looks to be a very interesting inaugural lecture entitled “What is Progress in New Testament Studies?” Steve – inquiring minds want to know! Do tell! To whet your apetite for this lecture, here is the description:
New Testament Studies is in something of a crisis today. People in the churches find much of what goes on in university departments of Theology to be irrelevant to their concerns and needs. People who study the New Testament in universities and theological colleges find that scholars are asking a baffling array of different questions, and there seems no agreement about what is important, or which approaches to studying the New Testament are right or wrong, good or bad. On the other hand, those who teach and study the New Testament professionally sometimes find statements by church leaders and members about the New Testament’s view of something to be superficial or midsleading, if not wrong. How does the discipline move forward today?
In his inaugural lecture, Professor Steve Walton will seek to address the state of New Testament Studies by focusing on what progress is in this area of study. This will involve asking:
- why studying the New Testament is important, especially in an academic setting;
- what ‘progress’ is in general and to what extent it is desirable;
- the relationship of believers’ and academic reading of the New Testament;
- what is most important in studying the New Testament;
- where New Testament Studies might go in the future.
This will be a significant attempt by a Christian practitioner of New Testament Studies to reflect on and answer a vital question.
Indeed! Oh Steve – I wish I could be there to cheer you on and hear your message. I am sure it will be published in due time (Tyndale Bulletin perhaps?). If you want to learn more about the lecture, see here. Do wish Professor Walton a hearty congrats via FB or by email, if you can!